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Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Daily Briefing: Sidhu resigns as Punjab Cong chief; Kanhaiya joins Cong

Kanhaiya Kumar joined the party while Independent Gujarat MLA and Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani said he extended “full support” and would contest the 2022 state elections on the Congress symbol.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
September 29, 2021 8:16:52 am
A look at the top news today, September 29, 2021.

Good morning, 

The Big Story

Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu has ‘resigned hurt’ leaving the party on a sticky wicket once again ahead of the upcoming Assembly polls.  Cricket analogies aside, there are a string of factors behind the surprise resignation, chief among them being Sidhu not allowed to have his way in appointments to senior administrative posts, selection of ministers and allocation of portfolios.

Meanwhile, the forecast on Monday was not all doom and gloom as the party can now count former JNU student leader Kanhaiya Kumar among its ranks and Gujarat independent MLA Jignesh Mevani extending his “full support”.

Only in the Express 

Two State-owned entities are at odds with each other over the implementation of BharatNet, the Central government’s flagship scheme to provide Internet connectivity to all 2.5 lakh gram panchayats in the country. Citing delays and inefficiencies in implementing the project, an entity that comes under the IT Ministry has written to the Prime Minister’s Office proposing to buy a controlling stake in Bharat Broadband Network Limited.

A year after the government announced a new National Education Policy, Education Secretary Amit Khare discusses what is changing, the focus on learning rather than teaching, and the road to holistic implementation of the policy.

From the Front Page 

A 19-year-old Pakistani militant was caught while his accomplice was killed in Uri sector on Sunday, eight days after they sneaked in by cutting the fence along the Line of Control (LoC). Major General Varinder Vats said the infiltration was not possible without Pakistan’s help. According to officials, there have been three infiltration attempts over the last week, and at least four infiltrators, including three porters, have been killed. 

A late-night raid by Uttar Pradesh Police at a hotel in Gorakhpur, in search of three youths, has ended in the death of a 38-year-old property dealer. Countering the police version that he died after a fall in the room he was staying in, the victim’s wife alleged that policemen misbehaved with her husband and, when he objected to their behaviour, “he was assaulted, resulting in serious injuries and his death…”.

Must Read 

It is the end of the road for government-aided private educational institutions in Andhra Pradesh. More than 90 percent of aided degree colleges have been taken over by the state, and will now be run as government institutions. These institutions were given three options: voluntarily withdraw from grant-in-aid benefits; hand over their assets to the government; or run the institutions as private bodies.

Amid calls for a caste census come findings that 44.4 percent of 17.24 crore rural households in the country are from Other Backward Classes (OBCs) and that OBC households are in a majority across rural areas of seven states — Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka and Chhattisgarh — which together send 235 Lok Sabha members to Parliament.

Over the last four years, Jharkhand-based startup KissanPro has been working to build a support system for farmers in the state. Currently operating from 12 districts, it caters to the needs of more than 10,000 farmers—providing them with advisories, input supplies such as fertilisers and seeds, and market linkages to their produce. KissanPro co-founder Pankaj Roy makes it clear it is a ‘for-profit’ business, “but not at the cost of exploiting farmers”.

And Finally 

Bouncing back three years after a devastating car accident, 19-year-old sprinter Taranjeet Kaur won the 100m title on Tuesday with 11.54s on the clock at the ongoing U-23 Nationals. Taranjeet’s sensational post-accident comeback is due in no small part to India’s greatest wrestler Sushil Kumar, who gave her a pep talk when she returned to the tracks after six months of rehab and found that her performance had taken a beating. 

Delhi Confidential: In an unusual address to representatives of the Christian community, Union Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi stood up for atheists. He said “forced conversions” annot be a testament to trust in any religion, especially in a country where both believers and atheists coexist. 

In today’s episode of ‘3 Things’, we talk about caste discrimination in a government school in UP, the current Covid situation in India, and the anti-infiltration operation in Uri. 

Until tomorrow, 

Leela Prasad G and Rahel Philipose

Express Cartoon by EP Unny.

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